NY AG Says Trump Foundation Misused Veterans Donations

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Every criticism that Trump offered of his political opponents in 2016 was hypocritical. He accused Ted Cruz of cheating on his wife; it turns out that Trump was cheating on his wife with a porn star. He accused Hillary Clinton of pay-for-play violations; it turns out that Trump donated to then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s political campaign in exchange for her dropping some lawsuits against him. He also accused Clinton of misusing funds from her charity, the Clinton Foundation.

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James filed a legal case against the Trump Foundation, suing for $2.8 million in damages and demanding that Trump and his children no longer be allowed to run any charitable foundation for at least 10 years. James stated in the filing that she has significant evidence to back up the charges.

AP News reports that:

‘Insider testimony, emails and other evidence show President Donald Trump turned his charitable foundation into a wing of his White House campaign, New York’s attorney general said in a new court filing Thursday.’

Trump, according to the filing, used money from the Trump Foundation illegally during his 2016 presidential campaign. After Trump stated at rallies many times that he was self-funding his campaign, it turns out that was just another lie he sold his rabid fanbase.

‘James said the evidence of banned coordination between campaign officials and the foundation includes deposition testimony from Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg and emails he exchanged with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.’

The money he raised during the campaign for veteran’s groups were also misused since they were funneled through the Trump Foundation illegally. Since charitable foundations are legally prevented from being involved in politics, that money was improperly handled.

‘In one email, a Trump company vice president asked Lewandowski for guidance on how to distribute the money that was raised.

‘“Do you have a list of which veterans charities you want these funds sent to and how much for each charity??” the vice president, Jeffrey McConney, wrote Lewandowski on Feb. 16, 2016, according to the filing. “Lastly, how much longer do you want to keep the TrumpforVets website up and running?”’

James formerly accused the Trump Foundation as serving as a personal piggy bank for Trump and his children. The Foundation was formally shut down and the remaining funds were handed over under supervision, but the lawsuit has not yet ended.

‘The Trump Foundation reached a deal in December to fold and distribute about $1.7 million in remaining funds to other nonprofits in a court-supervised process. Each charity will get the same amount, and the attorney general’s office has the right to reject the ones it deems unfit…That agreement, though, didn’t resolve the lawsuit.’

Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license